The home of Critic, Writer and Film-maker: Liam Walters


Written By: Liam Walters

One of the most highly anticipated episodes since The Doctor’s Wife, A Good Man Goes To War is the mid-series 6 finale episode, which started with the promise of fining out just who River Song is. Fantastically written by Steven Moffat, and with a cliffhanger that will leave you wanting more, and with a even more fantastic reveal of Episode 8’s title, it could possibly be one of the greatest finale’s that the show has seen for a long time.

Warning: From This Point Onwards, I Will Be Talking Spoilers. 

First off, a confession: I knew about River being Amy and Rory’s Daughter (If you have had this spoilt for you, then I do apologize, but I did place Spoiler Warnings in the title, and before the front page cut off.). When I was searching for information, I saw a website which was either a fan theory, or a spoiler site. I just happened to come across it. Anyway, I read it on that site. Now at that point, I just brushed it off thinking it wasn’t true… And it was quite nice surprise to see it was true, but it just felt cheapened by the fact it wasn’t a full surprise.

I quite like how they started the episode, as it seems to call back to ‘Day of the Moon’. The Amy talks, and at first, we believe that she is talking about The Doctor, but we soon realise that she is, in fact, talking about Rory. And I have to say, it seems Rory is becoming quite like The Doctor. He has lived for hundreds of years, and has great heart and determination. Rory being in his Roman Centurion garb seems a little… Unnecessary, though I have to admit, near the battle at the end when you see The Doctor’s army, it does start to weirdly resemble an JRPG party.

Not bad to say they just lost their tank

The Doctor’s Army, comprised as a 2000 something year old Roman Centurion, a Sontaran nurse,a big blue fat guy, a lizard woman, a Victorian woman and a woman soldier from the opposite army. I do admit, it is quite fun to see The Doctor fight along with monsters races who he himself has defeated in the past. Lorna Bucket is a quite interesting episode, having a not yet seen adventure with The Doctor (one that we may or may not see in the autumn half of the series). It is quite upsetting that she dies here, as she seems like she would have been a really good companion.

The Headless Monks were quite interesting as antagonists, though I feel that their presence was somewhat wasted towards the end. The Monks don’t really bring anything too special to the episode, apart from a few lines of dials about them, and a bit of mystery. They could have easily replaced the Monks with Daleks or some other Doctor Who monster, one that we may or may not have yet seen, and it wouldn’t really make much of a difference. (Although seeing The Doctor sneak in using a Dalek costume would have certainly added food for thought).

Now don’t get me wrong. The Headless Monks are an excellent edition to the Doctor Who alien family, I like the mystery and myth behind them, it makes them more fleshed out and real, though I think they made a few mistakes with them. First one was, combat wise, they’re really just not too good. I mean, any grunt with a gun can take one out, as we saw, so I don’t see what so special about them. Having swoards is great and all, but they just don’t seem to live up to their potential. Another mistake was taking their hoods off, although a fantastic way to reveal The Doctor, kind of ruins their mysteriousness of what is actually underneath.

Is there a head under that hood, or are you just happy to see me?

During this episode, we find out that ‘The Eye-patch Lady’, as she had been called during other episodes, finally has a name. ‘Madame Kovarian’, although again, not much is really revealed about her. She want’s Amy’s baby because of its unique properties, so she can make a weapon to fight The Doctor with… But we still don’t know why. Neither do we know how she was able to side with the Headless Monks. Since they’re base was where the Army was at, I take it at some point she must have proposed the idea to them, and I guess they just liked it.

“The Doctor will rise higher than ever before then fall so much further”, was one of the very first lines we heard in the trailer for Series 6. I must say, the writing behind the episode is fantastic, mainly because it all does make sense. The Doctor, this enigmatic mad man, who “would just drop out of the sky and tear down your world”. This scene does echo back to earlier in the episode, with The Doctor’s “Captain Runaway” remark. The fact that he does make his enemy’s feel so small, that he can turn away whole armys with the mention of his name. They would eventually stand and fight against him, anyway they could… His actions brought this army together, to steal Amy’s baby, so they can raise her to be a weapon against The Doctor.

We were brought into the episode with the promise of finding out who River Song is. And well, by the end of the episode, they did not disappoint. As I mentioned earlier in this review, I had already seen the spoiler before hand, even though at that point I didn’t believe it. Though I have to say, it is quite cleaver, though some people have predicted it, with the whole ‘River/Pond’ thing. Still, I have to give it to Steven Moffat, this is an excellent twist and I will now be eagerly awaiting Autumn, to see more of the Pond’s reactions, as well as how this changes the dynamics of the characters on the show. I would also like to see how The Doctor’s and River’s relationship develops, now that he finally knows who she is.

A match made in Space, don’t you think?

In all, I think that this split series works fantastically well. The build up to episode 7 made it seem that much more important, and the presence of an overall theme, instead of just stand alone episodes, which was something I praised series 5 for, was even more present in this half of series 6. Although some fans may be disappointed with the wait, I do feel as though the wait is actually better. Instead of having one, okay series over the course of 13 weeks, we are now able to get two fantastic half series over the year.

I have yet to find out what the ‘throwaway line from last series’, that became important in this episode, actually was. I will keep re-watching the episodes, maybe even watching through series 5 again to try to get some answers. If you have spotted it, or have any theories on what it might be, feel free to post in the comments section below. I aim to find out before I release my Mid-Series 6 review next week.

So what of the autumn half? Well, from what we have seen during the series trailers, as well as Episode 8: Lets Kill Hitler, it seems like the next half series will be quite interesting. Hopefully, we’ll find out more about River Song, and who she killed, as well as seeing more of The Silence, and finding out who the voice was that took control of the TARDIS and said ‘Silence will Fall’, as we have yet to be told about that. Lastly, I have to mention the skeletal hand, holding the Sonic Screwdriver with the caption ‘Time Runs Out’. This is a fantastic teaser, and will hopefully pay off in the series finale.

Time Runs Out

Doctor Who Mid-Series 6 Review on: 11/06/11


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